by Vladimir Radyuhin
On Sunday, Crimea voted to split away from Ukraine and return to the Russian fold. For a vast majority of Crimea’s Russian-speaking population this is an act of redressing a monumental injustice that happened in 1991 when Crimea, which geographically, ethnically and historically is more Russian than many regions of Russia itself, became part of a
foreign state as the Soviet Union broke up along arbitrarily drawn administrative borders.
However, reuniting a divided people may not have been the prime motive that forced President Vladimir Putin’s hand in Crimea. The Ukraine crisis is viewed in Moscow as a continuation of the Western plan to encircle Russia militarily and torpedo its reintegration efforts in the former Soviet Union.
The new leaders in Kiev installed with the West’s support are the same people who staged the “orange revolution” in Ukraine in 2004 and set Ukraine on the path of NATO membership.
Ukraine’s induction into NATO would be a strategic catastrophe for Russia. NATO would come within 425 kilometres of Moscow, cut off Russia from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and squeeze it out of the Caucasus.
Conservative Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, whose ideas of Russia’s Eurasianism as opposed to Western ultra-liberalism increasingly resonate in the Kremlin, views the current upheaval in Ukraine as “the battle of the unipolar world of U.S. hegemony against Russia.”
“Whereas in Libya we shunned the battle, because we had [President Dmitry] Medvedev at the helm, in Syria and Ukraine we have taken up the gauntlet,” Prof. Dugin wrote last month.
In Ukraine, Mr. Putin made the same point he has been driving home in Syria: regime change by force is illegal. When Western nations hailed the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Ukraine as “a democratic free choice of the Ukrainian people,” Mr. Putin’s reply was: Crimea also has the right to make its own free choice.
The West pushed Mr. Putin too far in Ukraine, which is more than just a former Soviet state. It is where the Russian nation was born — in medieval “Kievan Rus” — and it is still part of the “Russian world.” The West’s efforts to bring Ukraine into its orbit were viewed in Moscow as an encroachment on Russia itself.
“For Russia, it is not just a red line; it’s a solid double red line that no one is permitted to cross,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of Russia’s authoritative Council on Foreign and Defence Policy.
Ukraine, the second most powerful economy in the former Soviet Union, is a linchpin to Mr. Putin’s plan to build the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), a Moscow-led version of the European Union. The U.S. denounced the plan as a disguised attempt to re-create the Soviet Union and vowed to disrupt it.
“There is a move to re-Sovietize the region,” Hillary Clinton said in 2012, when she was still U.S. Secretary of State. “It’s not going to be called that. It’s going to be called a Customs Union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that.”
“But let’s make no mistake about it,” she added. “We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.”
An “effective way” to wreck Mr. Putin’s project was found when the European Union offered Ukraine an “either-or” choice between closer ties with Europe or membership in Mr. Putin’s EEU. As former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote years ago, “Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire in Eurasia.”
Mr. Yanukovych used the E.U. talks for a free trade and association pact in order to play Europe against Russia in an attempt to get the best deals from both sides, but overplayed his hand. When he scuttled the E.U. pact last November in favour of a multi-billion Russian aid package, Ukrainians felt robbed of their hopes for prosperous life in affluent Europe. It was an illusion assiduously nurtured by Western politicians and the media, but Mr. Yanukovych’s turnaround triggered mass protests that eventually brought down his kleptocratic and inept regime.
Apart from geopolitical compulsions, Moscow’s support for Crimea’s breakaway bid was driven by important domestic considerations. The protests in Ukraine, manipulated as they were by the West, reflected the rise of grass-root civic activity against corruption and authoritarianism — the same problems that bedevil Russia and that brought thousands of anti-government protesters onto the streets of Moscow two years ago. By intervening in Ukraine, Mr. Putin sought to stop the surging pro-democracy wave from spilling over to Russia.
Mr Putin is widely expected to seek a fourth presidential term in 2018. However, the protest rallies against his return to presidency in 2012 were a sign of growing wariness with his rule. A poll conducted by the respected Levada Centre last year found that half of Russians would like to see a new leader in 2018. A multi-thousand-strong rally in Moscow at the weekend showed that anti-Putin sentiments are still strong among West-oriented urbanites.
However, overall, Russians support Mr. Putin’s policy on Crimea’s reunification. A March survey showed that Mr. Putin’s approval ratings rose by 10 per cent in one month and were at the highest level in years.
Experts said Mr. Putin needs a new agenda to retain voter support — reassembly of lost Russian lands. “Putin has exhausted the limit of people’s gratitude for having saved the country from chaos and ruin,” said Prof. Dugin. “He needs a new future-oriented strategy to re-establish his legitimacy. Eurasian integration of the former Soviet space would give him such strategy.”
Mr. Putin’s intervention in Ukraine has brought Russia strategic gains but is fraught with serious risks.
Crimea’s reunification with Russia solves the problem of the Black Sea Fleet, which Ukraine’s new leaders vowed to shut down and for which there is no other basing location that does not freeze in winter. Russia retains strategic grip on the region and ability to project its naval power to the Mediterranean and beyond.
The Ukraine and Western powers said they would not recognise Crimea’s split from Ukraine, but Russia argued that Kosovo’s self-proclaimed independence from Serbia provided legitimate precedent. Moscow recalled the 2010 ruling by the U.N. International Court of Justice, which said that unilateral declaration of independence by a part of a country did not violate international law.
The example of Crimea has inspired other Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine to demand greater powers from the centre. If Ukraine switches from a unitary state to a federation, the pro-Russia regions will get the right to block any sharp swing of the country towards the West.
At the same time there is a risk of Ukraine sinking into chaos. Mr. Yanukovych’s downfall left Ukraine in shatters. The country is bankrupt and heading for default. The new authorities’ shaky grip on power may weaken further as they embark on harsh austerity measures to qualify for urgent assistance from the International Monetary Fund and Western governments.
The rise of far right and neo-Nazi groups, who spearheaded deadly clashes in Kiev last month, widened the chasm between Ukraine’s pro-Russia southeast and nationalist west. If Ukraine breaks up along the east-west divide, its western part will join NATO. This would be a dubious victory for Russia.
Russia’s relations with the West are fast deteriorating, but how far they will slide back is an open question. “The West and Russia have sailed into uncharted waters,” said Dmitry Trenin, head of the Carnegie Moscow Centre.
The analyst predicted that U.S.-Russia geopolitical rivalry will intensify and affect their collaboration on Syria, Iran and Afghanistan. “Although the static military confrontation is unlikely to be resurrected, nuclear deterrence will be reaffirmed, and competition in the military sphere will spread to other areas, from cyberspace to conventional prompt global strike,” Mr. Trenin wrote in Foreign Policy.
Economic sanctions the U.S. and Europe threaten to impose against Russia will push it further towards China, experts said. India may also benefit from Russia’s pivot to the East, winning greater access to Russian energy resources and speeding up talks for a free trade agreement.
It is symbolic that the new round of East-West confrontation centred on Crimea, home to the 1945 Yalta Conference, at which the Soviet Union made its World War Two allies recognise its security interests far beyond its borders.
Keywords: Russia-Crimea bilateral relations, Crimea political situation, Vladimir Putin, 1945 Yalta Conference
இலங்கையின் பல தசாப்த கால இனவாத அரசியலின் உற்பத்தியாகத் தான் இன்றைய பிரதான ஊடகங்கள் காணப்படுகின்றன. இலங்கையின் பிரதான சமூகங்கள் பிளவு பட்டு இன்றைய துரதிஷ்டவசமான சூழ்நிலைகள் உருவாக வழி வகுத்ததும் இதே இனவாத அரசியல் தான்.Read more
முஸ்லிம் ஒருவருக்கு சொந்தமான ஒரு நகைக்கடையில் பௌத்த மதத்தை சேர்ந்த ஒருவருடன் வாய்த்தகராறு நடக்கிறது. வாய்த்தகராறில் ஈடுபட்டவருக்கு ஆதரவாக பௌத்த மதத்தை சேர்த்தவர்கள் ஒன்று கூடுகிறார்கள். சில மணித்தியாலங்களில் அந்த கடை அடித்து சேதமாக்கி அழிக்கப்படுகிறது. இதன் விளைவாக ஒரு பௌத்த பிக்கு எரிக்கப்பட்டுவிடுகிறார்.Read more
லத்தீப் பாரூக் :
அரசாங்கம் அரசியல் யாப்பில் மாற்றங்களைக் கொண்டு வரவுள்ளதாக அறிவித்தது முதல் அதுபற்றிய தீவிரமான கலந்துரையாடல்களும் முன்னெடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. இதில் ஆர்வம் உள்ள பல குழுக்கள் பல்வேறு திறந்த கலந்துரையாடல்கள் கருத்தரங்குகள் செயலமர்வுகள் என்பனவற்றை நடத்தி வருகின்றன.Read more
லத்தீப் பாரூக் :
1979 இல் சோவியத் யூனியன் (ரஷ்யா) சிதைவுற்ற பின் மனித வரலாற்றில் இதுவரை அறிந்திராத ஒரு இராணுவ பலம் மிக்க நாடாக அமெரிக்கா பரிணமிக்கத் தொடங்கியது. இரும்புத் திரை நாடென அறியப்பட்ட ரஷ்யாவின் வீழ்ச்சிக்குப் பின் உலகம் முழுவதும் ஜனநாயகம் தலைத்தோங்கும் அமைதியும் சுதந்திரமும் தாண்டவமாடும் என உலக மக்கள் அனைவரும் கனவு கண்டனர்.
ஆனால் ஆயுத உற்பத்தி, எண்ணெய் வளம், வங்கித்துறை, நிதித்துறை, கைத்தொழில் துறை,Read more
ஐ.நாவில் நிறைவேறிய நாள் 29 நவம்பர் 1947; நீதி சிதைக்கப்பட்டதும் அநியாயம் தலை எடுத்ததும் பின்னர் நிரூபிக்கப்பட்டது
மனித வரலாற்றில் மிகவும் இருள் சூழ்ந்த தினமாக 29 நவம்பர் 1947 பதிவாகியுள்ளது. அன்றைய நாளில் தான் அமெரிக்காவின் அப்போதைய ஜனாதிபதி ஹரி.எஸ்.ட்ரியுமன் தலைமையில் வழிநடத்தப்பட்டRead more
லத்தீப் பாரூக் :
2015 ஆகஸ்ட் 17ல் 95 வீதத்துக்கும் அதிகமான முஸ்லிம்களால் வாக்களித்து தெரிவு செய்யப்பட்ட ஐக்கிய தேசியக் கட்சி தலைமையிலான அரசாங்கம் இந்த நாட்டின் முஸ்லிம் சமூகத்தைப் புறக்கணித்துவிட்டு இஸ்ரேலிய தூதுக் குழுவினருக்கு செங்கம்பள வரவேற்பு அளிக்கத் தொடங்கியுள்ளது.Read more
லத்தீப் பாரூக் :
முஸ்லிம் அரசியல்வாதிகளாலும் அடுத்தடுத்து பதவியேற்ற அரசுகளாலும் சர்வதேச சமூகத்தாலும் கூட கைவிடப்பட்ட நிலையில் வடபகுதியில் மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்ட இனச் சுத்திகரிப்பின் பலனாக உள்நாட்டில் அகதிகளான முஸ்லிம்களின் அவல நிலை கால் நூற்றாண்டுக்கு மேலாக தொடருகின்றது.Read more
மஸிஹுதீன் இனாமுல்லாஹ் :
இன்றுவரை ஒரு நாட்டை இலங்கை முறையாக அங்கீகரிக்காமல் ஆகக் கூடுதலான ஒத்துழைப்பை நேரடியாகவும் மறைமுகமாகவும் பெறுகிறதென்றால் அது இஸ்ரேல் என்ற முறைகேடாக பிறந்த, முறைகேடாக வளர்ந்த, சர்வதேச பயங்கரவாத சியோனிச சாம்ராஜ்யமாகும்.Read more
சர்வதேச விவகாரங்கள் பற்றிய துணிச்சல் மிக்க கருத்துக்காக ஒரு காலத்தில் போற்றப்பட்ட உள்நாட்டின் பிரதான பிரிவு ஊடகங்கள் இன்று அமெரிக்கா தலைமையிலான யுத்த வெறி கொண்ட ஐரோப்பிய இஸ்ரேல் ஆதரவு ஊடகங்களை கண்மூடித் தனமாகப் பின்பற்றி வருகின்றன.Read more
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by Al-Mustafa Medicare : People strive, throughout life, to build strong personal characters, traits that reflect their purpose, passions, and values. Yet, as people who would like to build a strong character, we find it difficult. The difficulty lies in our resistance to the very circumstances that would lead us to grow. This article will provide insights into the following questions: How does ...
by Palestine News Network : British doctors have called for the removal of Israel from the World Medical Association (WMA) over claims of “medical torture” on Palestinians seeking treatment, Israeli media reported. Dr. Zeev Feldman, chairman of the Israeli Medical Association World Fellowship and president of the Israeli Neurosurgical Society, revealed at a Knesset Science an...
by Andre Vltchek : Terrorism has many forms and many faces, but the most terrible of them is cold cruelty. We are asked to believe that terrorists consist of dirty lunatics, running around with bombs, machine guns and explosive belts. That’s how we are told to imagine them. Many of them are bearded; almost all are “foreign looking”, non-white, non-Western. In summar...
by New Eastern Outlook : Since John D. Rockefeller was advised to protect his wealth from government taxation by creating a tax-exempt philanthropic foundation in 1913, foundations have been used by American oligarchs to disguise a world of dirty deeds under the cover “doing good for mankind,” known by the moniker “philanthropy” for mankind-loving. No less...
லத்தீப் பாரூக் : அரசாங்கம் அரசியல் யாப்பில் மாற்றங்களைக் கொண்டு வரவுள்ளதாக அறிவித்தது முதல் அதுபற்றிய தீவிரமான கலந்துரையாடல்களும் முன்னெடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. இதில் ஆர்வம் உள்ள பல குழுக்கள் பல்வேறு திறந்த கலந்துரையாடல்கள் கருத்தரங்குகள் செயலமர்வுகள் என்பனவற்றை நடத்தி வருகின்றன. ...
By Latheef Farook : Intense discussions have been underway ever since the government announced its decision to bring about constitutional changes. Numerous seminars, symposiums and open discussions were held by various interested groups from all communities to ensure their rights in the proposed constitution. Emphasizing the need to ensure the rights of all communities President Maithripala Sir...
by Ameen Izzadeen : During a visit to sanctions-hit Iran in 2012, at Laleh International Hotel, which was Hotel Intercontinental before the 1979 revolution, a shopkeeper told me that business was so bad that he hardly got one customer a day. It was only two months after the United States had imposed the toughest ever trade sanctions on Iran, warning the world’s banks that they would be...
Somehow, despite that "siege" we keep hearing about, Qatar managed to build this in Gaza: The first 1060 units are available now, and 1200 more coming soon. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that these apartments were a "victory for the Palestinians in the face of the occupation and the brutal aggression" of Israel. I am a little surprised that Mahmoud Abbas' picture is so prominently displayed in Gaza.
Book Release :
United Nations Solidarity Day with Palestine, marking the illegal and immoral United Nations resolution on 29 November 1947, handing over Palestinian lands to Zionist Jews were imported by Britain and Zionist Jews from all over, was observed at a special meeting at the Sports Ministry auditorium on 4 December 2015.Read more